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IPR Enforcement: Hybrid Vehicles, Memory Devices, Semiconductor Devices

Thursday, March 09, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The International Trade Commission has instituted investigation 337-TA-1042 to determine whether imports of hybrid electric vehicles and components thereof are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue are passenger vehicles that use hybrid electric power with certain types of controllers.

Complainants Paice LLC and Abell Foundation Inc. request that after this investigation the ITC issue a limited exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of infringing products into the U.S., and cease and desist orders, which would require the named respondents to cease actions that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. The respondent in this investigation is located in the U.S.

Memory Devices and Semiconductor Devices. The ITC received March 7 petitions requesting that it institute separate Section 337 investigations regarding the following products.

- non-volatile memory devices (complainants Macronix International Co. Ltd. and Macronix America Inc.; respondents located in Japan, the Philippines, and the U.S.)

- semiconductor devices and consumer audiovisual products (complainant Broadcom Corporation; respondents located in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and the U.S.)

Section 337 investigations primarily involve claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including the infringement of patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress and false advertising, may also be asserted. The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S. In addition, the ITC may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory.

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